The Essential Travel Gift: Writing a Letter of Introduction

24/02/2013 22:09

I recently gave a friend who was travelling to the Far East the thing that every traveller needs but so few travellers have.... I handed him a universal letter of introduction. An independently-backed item such as this can be useful in countless unanticipated or foreseeable scenarios – making curious friends, securing forms of accommodation, various experiments, emergencies, cost-free transport; for meeting benefactors perhaps, local philanthropists, or, in the right circumstances, you might grant yourself last minute entry to official functions. It largely depends on how you choose to deploy the letter once it has entered your possession. A universal introduction letter should be short and to the point. Here's how to write one, step by step.

Some guidelines for the paper introduction (with examples):

1. Below the date, head the letter: 'Letter of introduction for [name]'

2. Address the thing: 'To whom it may concern'

3. Demonstrate your standing to issue a letter of this special and peculiar variety:
'I have known this man for a sustained period and can recommend him to you, whatever the situation.'

4. Speak highly of the traveller, but objectively:
'Please, therefore, act confidently in assisting this reliable fellow author in his pursuit of this brave profession, or in any way that you can.'

5. Assure the potential recipient once more as you close:
'I assure you that you can put your trust in him – he is a kind, good man.'

6. Sign off, faithfully, acknowledging clearly who you are after your name – i.e. your profession, connecting organisation, other credentials and/or website (if any)

7. As a final touch, mark the envelope front in official fashion with something to the effect of: 

'To accompany [initial and surname]
To whom it may concern'


Quality stationery should be used at all times. A crumpled letter passed from the hands of an itinerant is perfectly acceptable, but flimsy paper is not. I chose to write my friend's letter on a vintage typewriter, a move that gave it maximum impact when he revealed it to new Eastern eyes.


Visit us regularly for more articles, and share them far and wide. Shown below are a selection of recent PSofL LWR envelopes that have floated through and lit up a number of postal services. Refresh yourselves... write a letter, it's good for you! Do good and repeat the motto to others. Until next time!




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Comments for 'The Essential Travel Gift: Writing a Letter of Introduction'


Date: 26/02/2013 | By: Kenneth Rosenberg

Good advice! Your letter stood me in good stead while chatting up a friendly beauty on the warms sands of Thailand. No doubt she was impressed! I will keep it in my possession for future travels, and next time I'll see if I can use it to procure free transport and accommodation!

RE: Letter

Date: 27/02/2013 | By: Peanut Lucubrator

A fine foreseeable scenario then – making curious friends. Delighted to hear that; may your ingenuity with that paper continue! One day we'll all we combing beaches with letters in our hands.... in a distant future. Saluting you on being ahead of our time ---

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